Hoop House at the FIC

05/18/2018

newsimage

A hoop house has been installed on the south lawn at the Kalamazoo Valley Community College Food Innovation Center at 224 E. Crosstown Parkway.

Food Innovation Center Director Rachel Bair explained that a hoop house is a simple, passive solar greenhouse constructed of steel bows that are set into posts in the ground with translucent plastic stretched over the top. “A hoop house traps solar energy so that the air and ground inside stay warm enough to grow certain crops throughout the year,” Bair said.

The FIC’s hoop house is 30 by 72-feet and was installed by Nifty Hoops, a Michigan-based company.

Students enrolled in Kalamazoo Valley’s sustainable food system program, culinary arts and sustainable brewing programs will all use the hoop house. As part of their coursework, students learn to grow food in different environments, including an indoor grow room, a greenhouse, and raised bed gardens. “It will provide an additional educational space and help us produce more food to be used on the menu at the 418 Restaurant and Havirmill Café,” Bair said. Kalamazoo Valley may also offer farmer workshops and community classes in the hoop house.